Duterte to only take action vs gov't agencies if COA reports already final | Inquirer News

Duterte to only take action vs gov’t agencies if COA reports already final

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 02:32 PM August 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will only consider final reports of the Commission on Audit (COA) in taking action against government agencies’ supposed questionable spending, Malacañang said Thursday noting that state auditors’ preliminary observations “have no meaning yet.”

“Siguro po pag may final report na, iyan po ang ikukunsidera ng Presidente dahil abogado naman po ang Presidente, alam niyang bumasa ng COA report pero sa ngayon po talaga, ‘yung mga preliminary observations, wala pa pong ibig sabihin ‘yan,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing when asked if Malacañang is planning to take actions against agencies flagged by COA.


(Maybe if there’s already a final report, that will be considered by the President. He’s a lawyer, he knows how to read a COA report but for now, the preliminary observations, those have no meaning yet.)


Still, Roque stressed that agencies should answer COA’s preliminary observations in a “quick” and “detailed” manner.

“Sa ngayon po, ang aking advice, cool po muna tayo dahil itong puntong ito, puwede pa po sagutin at antayin po natin ang final reports,” Roque said.

(At this point, my advice is to let’s stay cool because those can still be answered by agencies and let’s wait for the final reports.)

READ: COA red flags reach nearly every corner of Duterte bureaucracy

Duterte earlier told COA to “stop flagging” and “not publish” its reports as it taints agencies with “corruption by perception.”

Roque, on the following day, clarified that Duterte does not want COA to stop publishing its reports but to only wait until agencies submit their responses.


He also said that the President was only expressing frustration and not threatening the constitutional body.

COA regularly posts its audit reports and observations on its official website, which is accessible to the public, as part of its mandate to promote transparency and fight corruption in government.

Its controversial report finding “deficiencies” worth over P67 billion in the 2020 pandemic budget of the Department of Health stirred furor from both the public and the administration – the former, calling for accountability, while the latter, criticizing COA.

The COA report did not say that the deficiencies were due to corruption as it even offered recommendations on how the health department could rectify the issues.

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COA commits to continue audit duties despite complaints from Duque, Duterte

TAGS: audit report, COA, corruption, DoH, Malacañang, Palace, Rodrigo Duterte

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